Budget friendly meal · dinner in 30 minutes · vegetarian

Pinto Beans Like Cracker Barrel’s!

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Have you ever eaten Pinto Beans at Cracker Barrel?  Yum!  They are delicious!  But what do you do when you can’t go to Cracker Barrel?  You use this shortcut method to get the same tasty results!! (I might also add, at a fraction of the cost!)

Even though we may have more time to cook these days, it’s always nice to have a recipe in our arsenal that packs heartiness, comfort, and is budget friendly.  As Cracker Barrel knows, Pinto beans and cornbread are synonymous in the south!  But if you use dry beans (which is the cheapest way), it takes hours to prepare.

I’ve recently found a way to take Bush’s canned Pinto Beans and cook them so that they taste just like the slower method!  I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the long way of doing this favorite meal of ours! The added ingredients are staple items I always keep on hand, so I know that I can have dinner of Soup Beans and Cornbread on the table in under 30 minutes!

I only use Bush beans. Why?  They are gentle on your stomach!  I stock up when they’re on sale for $1!  Add a box of Jiffy Mix and you have a really inexpensive meal!

One can of beans feeds two people, so you can adjust the ingredients for your family.  Here’s the simple method I use:

 Pinto Beans Like Cracker Barrel’s

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs Olive oil
  • ½ inch slice of yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 slice of bacon – cut into 1 inch pieces – You could leave this out to make it vegetarian!
  • 1 can Bush pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup water – Or for more flavor you can use chicken  broth
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp hot sauce, optional
  • ½ tsp salt – Taste to see if it’s needed; the bacon will add salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until soft and nearly transparent (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the bacon and cook together until the bacon is soft and nearly done.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of pinto beans.  Rinse.
  • Add the pinto beans to the sauce pan and continue to heat over medium heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup fresh water or (chicken broth) to the pinto beans
  • Put the butter, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper in and heat till bubbly.
  • Taste before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.

I like to serve the beans with a piece of cornbread crumbled over it.  Chopped onions on top are a nice addition, too. 

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My menu:

Pinto Beans
Oven roasted potatoes
Cooked apples
Corn bread

If you’re curious about the cooked apples, simply peel , core and cube the apples and place them into a skillet.  Add enough water to just cover them.  Sprinkle with a little sugar and also cinnamon.  Cook on medium heat until they cook down and some of the liquid evaporates.  Adjust sugar as needed.  This is a great way to use up apples that are too soft to eat, or that you’re afraid will go bad. 

This is one meal that is on repeat at my house about once a month.  We love it.  I hope you’ll try it and enjoy the taste of Cracker Barrel at home!!

Are you a lover of Pinto beans and cornbread like we are?

denise a

 

 

main dish · vegetarian

Meatless Comfort Food – Vegetable Pot Pie

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We are meat eaters at my house.  We love it all!  However, I recently needed a recipe for a vegetarian family, so I went to Pinterest and landed on a recipe by Ina Garten (where you can never go wrong!)  I changed it a little bit to make it just what I thought my vegetarian friends would enjoy.

Whenever I make a meal for others, I try to fix the same thing for our supper.  Even loving meat as we do, we really enjoyed this Vegetable Pot Pie!

For the crust, I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect! It was flaky and so good! It is made in the food processor and that makes it a cinch to bring together! For our pies, I made individual servings.  I made my friends’ in an oblong dish.

Here’s the easy recipe:

Vegetable Pot Pie

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups Frozen pearl onions

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash – (I really loved the addition of the butternut squash in this!  Did you know you can cut it up and freeze it to use later?  I was glad I already had it prepped! )

1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)

1 Cup frozen Peas – You can vary what your family likes! The peas and corn were some of my additions to the original recipe

1 Cup frozen Corn

1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

For the pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.
  2. Cook the squash in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the mixed vegetables, onions, and parsley to the sauce and mix well.
  3. For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the sides, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

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I might not be a lover of a vegetarian lifestyle, but I’m definitely a fan of this Vegetable Pot Pie!  Are you a carnivorous?  Even if you are, you need to try this great recipe!

Denise